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The Love Knot Letterfold
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the origami design known as the Love Knot Letterfold. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other information that should be added. Thank you.


c1496 to1508

'De Viribus Quantitatus' by Luca Pacioli, which can be dated to between 1496 and 1508, gives three ways to seal a letter without any wax, one of which is 'Given a rectangular sheet of paper, one is to fold it widthwise so to obtain a strip of paper. Both ends of the paper are bent in such a way to obtain a similar trapeze standing out to each side of the strip. The side of the trapeze gives the next fold, which is to be folded over until both ends are close enough that after folding them into each other they form a square shape.'

It seems to me that this is a description of the Love Knot Letterfold but with the ends tucked in so that the final shape is a square.



A version of the same design appears in this painting, by an unknown artist, which is in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. It is said to be dated to c1812, which is the date on the banknote. It is interesting to note that in this instance the note has been sealed with wax to prevent it being opened and read without the recipients knowledge.


Verschnuren - 1859 onwards

Paper strips folded in a similar way to the Love Knot Letterfold are used in the Frobelian occupation of Verschnuren, which is first mentioned, as 'L'Entrelacement, in 'Manuel pratique des jardins d'enfants de Frédéric Froebel' in 1859.


The Love Knot Letterfold also appears:


In 'Pleasant Work for Busy Fingers' by Maggie Browne,which was published by Cassell and Company in London in 1891.



In Eleonore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding', which was first published in Dutch in 1895 then in English by Charles and Dible in London and Glasgow in 1896.



In 'Diversions and Pastimes' by R M Abraham, which was first published by Constable and Constable in London in 1933.



As the 'Love Knot' in 'The Art of Chinese Paper folding for Young and Old' by Maying Soong, which was published by Harcourt Brace and Company of New York in 1948.



As 'Classic Love Letter' in Vol 2: Issue 1 of 'The Origamian' for Summer 1961.


Volume 2 Issue 2 of 'The Origamian' for Autumn 1961 contains mention in a letter from Philip Shen of how a twisted version of the Love Knot Letterfold had been used as a pen or brush cap during his childhood.



As 'Letter' in the second edition of 'Het Grote Vouwboek' by Aart van Breda, which was published by Uitgeverij van Breda in 1963.